Monday, December 28, 2009

Trashed and Wasted

In England they have Boxing Day on December 26. Here at my house we have Trashed and Wasted Day. It's a day when you don't have to get out of your jammies. A day for lounging in bed and only coming downstairs to nuke up a plate of leftovers.

We deserve it.

Not that it wasn't fun. The kids were cute.

Little Molly is so precious and so great to hold and squeeze. She is definitely not trashed and wasted, but raring to go. That's because she gives her all and then takes the rest she needs. As opposed to the adults who give their all and keep giving it until they have consumed 7000 calories and two quarts of mixed liquor. No no, only kidding on that part. I am left with mass quantities of wine and Bailey's and various liquor. Oh, what a problem.

Maeve in her new firefighter costume. I could use an axe right now myself.

Guests at Maeve's tea party. I assembled this table myself with help from my daughter on the chairs.

She is a genius.

My boeuf bourgignon looked good. It looked really good. But in truth, it wasn't that great. I overcooked it somehow. I don't mean that it was bad, just not spectacular, you know?

Oh well. At least now I have a 12-quart saucepan when I need it.

Here's Martha lighting it up for the meal.

Next up:

Weather there will be decent. I NEED SHOES!

Arivederci and a bientot, dear reader, I will have to delay my year-end review until I return.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Martha Stewart, Eat Your Heart Out

It all started when I found these Santa Claus napkin rings stuck in a drawer at my father's house. My mother made them and they are utterly cute. See how they stand up on the plate? [don't shake your head, dear reader--I will snap out of this soon] Maeve will love them. The color of the napkins doesn't exactly match the color of Santa's hat, but I haven't gone completely gaga. Not yet. Not entirely. I could still race out frantically to Macy's and get new napkins.

Incidentally, here is a question for a)other Martha Stewart types and/or b)laundry experts. What happens when someone wipes their mouth off with a cloth napkin and it's not a man? What happens when it's a woman wearing lipstick? Know what I'm sayin'? I mean you can't criticize them for it. EXCUSE ME, MRS. PARSLEY, BUT COULD YOU GO A LITTLE EASIER ON WIPING YOUR MOUTH OFF? I don't understand how those stains are ever removed. You'd have to soak them in lye. You'd have to keep a vat of it going all year round. DON'T TOUCH THAT. THOSE ARE THE CLOTH NAPKINS FROM CHRISTMAS DINNER. MRS. SMITH WORE REVLON'S FIRE AND ICE LIPSTICK AND IT'S GOING TO TAKE A FEW MONTHS.

Okay, I'm just asking.

And what about this display of high decorating? Do you know the elbow grease it took to make that silver tea service shine? The sheer will power to bring it back from blackness? I didn't even consume alcohol while I was doing it and that gives me more points, doesn't it? I played The Nutcracker and enjoyed myself. I was Hudson in Upstairs, Downstairs -- more probably Ruby, the ugly stupid kitchen maid. Incidentally, I wouldn't want to actually serve tea or coffee in these babies. The insides are streaked with ancient silver polish and rather nasty.

I even bought a new lamp. I don't think it's supposed to have a shade, but I'm not sure.

Anyway, problems still remain. Just for fun, I decided to open the vacuum cleaner to see how full the bag was getting. Big mistake. It was impacted like a bad colon, an intractable problem. So now today I have to try to replace it. I seem to remember that it is a weird type that almost no one carries. Dontcha love that? A vacuum cleaner emergency is tradition for me at the holidays.

Last blooper of 2009, dear reader, but it's a good one:
"When committing crimes, officers of the law do their best to apprehend the criminals."

On that note, I wish joy to all of you, on this day and all days.

Monday, December 14, 2009


paper-clutter Even a tsunami has its big part, the real kahuna, the mother of all surges that makes you think it will never end. That's what I'm in right now. My modest quota this-many-per-day strategy strains almost to its breaking point. Today I must grade ten research papers, ten journals, and five final exams. It will continue this way for another three days and then it will taper off.

But then more work will come in.

I won't feel zest for quite a while.

Right now I feel anti-zest. Phhhhouest. Yechhhhest.

And after the grading comes the number crunching for the REAL grades. Out of 100 students, 90 of the grades are pretty easy. They know what they did, they know what they deserve, and so do I. No sweat. Ten out of the hundred require some head scratching. Five of those ten require intense head scratching and re-running of the numbers. Two of the five require the wisdom of Solomon.

Finally, the answer comes to me in a vision. It always does. Frequently it is accompanied by a second vision of the student in question having fun and larking about, not concerned in the least. That's when I wonder why I should be agonizing.

"My room at home is what you would call genetic. It doesn't have any distinguishing parts."

"The waves softly crashed to the shore.

"The breeze the next day was warmer and cooler."

"I learned some important lesions."

In the end, it gets done. Then I get to worry about Christmas Eve dinner.

I've always wanted to make charlotte russe. Doesn't that sound like a good dessert for Christmas? I only have one question. What is it?

I dunno. It might be too hard for me.

A bientot, dear reader.



2 1/2 weeks till Roma!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Uh Oh

Patriots QB Tom Brady I go out the door for a short trip to Target. The game is well in hand. Tommy doesn't need me. Well, SHIT.

Beaten by the DOLPHINS? Oh, how declasse. Of course I remember the years when Dan Marino looked down his angry nose every time he beat us. I never saw an angrier player. Even now when he is a commentator, I wait for the day he will snap.


I guess we're not going to find the love in football this season.

One good thing:

Oh man, I am LOVING my new Fast Lane transponder. I used it for the first time on Thanksgiving weekend and it was awesome. I sailed by all the peasants waiting in line. I can't truly explain the rush you get when that green light lights up and you go through, almost without slowing down. No more rooting around in handbags for money.....I know I had another quarter here, fk it that's a euro, what is wrong with me? And no more little cards to stow somewhere easy to find and then totally forget where they are as the toll nears. GODDAMN IT, THROCKMORTON, WHAT DID YOU DO WITH THE THING? I DON'T ASK MUCH FROM YOU AND NOW YOU'VE LOST THE TURNPIKE TICKET. Oh, when it comes to the Fast Lane, dear reader, everything is good.

Students will soon drive me insane.

One young woman approached my desk and leaned into my personal space as if to confide something secret. I leaned toward her as well, to facilitate her confidence. She gushed at me, "I have the swine flu!" I could feel the germs.

"Abraham and Sarah gave birth to Isaac when he was 100 years old."

[that can be painful]Abraham called by God - a portrait by Guy Rowe

"Assisted suicide involves lethal does of morphine."

Photo of white-tailed deer doe in the snow

"Guns are needed for self-defense and to haunt more rapidly."

And finally, dear reader, "anesthesia is needed to relive the pain of death,"
which I suppose would be true and also in a paper about lowering the drinking age,
"I believe that drinking isn't as bad as running for president at age 35."
Hard to argue with that one as well.
Enjoy the holidays, or as we say here at CFTE, enjoy the goddamn holidays. A bientot